This year our family have been gripped by all things Sherlock Homes and we're looking forward to the new series of the BBC's Sherlock coming soon (magnifying glasses at the ready)!
Back in June my daughter Jessica took part in an art exhibition at Hopwood Hall College in Rochdale, where she was studying a Foundation course in Fine Art. Her final major project was based upon Sherlock Holmes and included wall art, costumes, props and a huge six foot canvas. She painted a brick wall onto one of the walls of the exhibition space and added a cardboard drainpipe and a wooden hand painted street sign. The street sign now resides in our living room!
Jess made Sherlock's trademark deerstalker hat and cape from heavyweight tweed fabric, with a cream lining. The results were impressive as she hadn't done much sewing before and she managed to master buttonholes, lining and matching the patterns on all the seams.
A variety of props were displayed on the top of an old upright piano. Jess wanted her Sherlock to be more modern, so she substituted "Baskerville" brand cigarettes for Sherlock's pipe. I showed her how to alter old books by carving niches into them to hold the mock cigarette packet and lighter and we also made one to hide John Watson's revolver inside. The cut edges of the books were coated with Modge Podge to stick them together and the facing pages were open at relevant text relating to Sherlock Holmes.
The most time consuming part of the exhibition was Jess' large canvas, which she constructed from a king size bed sheet stretched over a wooden frame and primed before painting. Earlier in the year we had been on a trip to London and had taken photos of Speedy's cafe near Euston Station, where the BBC had filmed part of it's Sherlock series. Jess' canvas shows the cafe, next to the entrance to 221B Baker Street. She added a black cab, as these have frequently featured in the series and are somewhat iconic in London.
The exhibition was a huge success and Jessica passed her course with a distinction. She is now at University studying Creative Arts for Theatre and Film, where she gets to paint scenery and make costumes and props - what fun! We are so proud of her!
You can see more of Jessica's artwork on her own blog, Wild at Art, here http://jwildart.tumblr.com/
I bought a set of Sherlock Holmes stamps by Sam Poole for Creative Expressions as I knew I would get lots of use from them http://www.craftie-charlie.co.uk/creative-expressions-u-mount-rubber-stamps-sherlock-holmes-by-sam-poole.html . I recently made the card below for my friend Jim Hankins, also known as The Gentleman Crafter. Although Jim's birthday was at the end of November he has just received his card today, which is why I can now show it to you (I do wish it didn't take so long for post to reach the USA from the UK and vice versa). Jim loves Architecture, anything Tim Holtz and Steampunk so I thought he would like this. I used Tim's Ranger distress inks to stamp the background with various small images and sentiments from the stamp set, and Tim's Sizzix brickwork Texture Fades embossing plate to make the brick wall on the left of the card. The wall was also coloured by rubbing it with various distress inkpads after it had been embossed. The Baker Street collage and the rather dapper gentleman were stamped onto smooth white card using Memento Tuxedo Black ink, coloured with watercolour pencils and mounted onto the card using foam pads. Finally I highlighted the watch face and the gentleman's top hat, shoes and cane with glossy accents.
If you get a chance I highly recommend that you also check out the lovely Jim's blog - http://www.thegentlemancrafter.com/ - be warned though - you will be amazed at some of his work and are likely to be there a while (best make a cup of tea or coffee first)! He is a very talented papercrafter and is kind, funny and an all round nice person to know!
Hopefully I will be back tomorrow with another birthday card to show you.